RPCC’s Medical Coding Program 1st in state to receive certificate approval from AHIMA

Published 9:12 am Saturday, January 14, 2023

GONZALES – River Parishes Community College (RPCC) is pleased to announce its approval by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Professional Certificate Approval Program (PCAP).

This means RPCC has the ONLY approved Certificate of Applied Sciences in Medical Coding program in the state from AHIMA.

“This program started under the direction of Dr. Iris Henry and my team of two adjunct instructors, Kimberly McDonald and Stephanie Jordan, and I have had the pleasure to take the program to new heights in the last year. We strived to set our program apart from the others and Professional Certificate Approval Program approval was the icing on the cake to all that hard work,” said Medical Coding Coordinator, Melissa Norris.

The PCAP approval identifies coding education programs that have been evaluated by a peer review process against national minimum standards for entry-level coding professionals. This process allows academic institutions to be acknowledged as providing an approved coding certificate program.

The approval designation assures healthcare providers that certificate holders of RPCC coding program possess the job skills to attain success in entry level coding positions. Students are guided through a comprehensive coding curriculum providing them with over 440 hours of instruction.

The AHIMA is the leading voice in health information. With this certificate program, students work at the intersection of healthcare, technology and business. AHIMA is an organization that promotes the business and clinical uses of electronic and paper-based medical information. The organization provides health information professionals with resources and training on how to improve their skills. ­­

“Obtaining PCAP approval status has been Melissa’s goal since she came to us last year. Being the only school in Louisiana with this approval status will help to assure our healthcare providers that we are the college to come to when they have a need for skilled entry-level coders,” said interim Dean of Health Sciences, Gretchen Schmidt.

RPCC has four campus locations located in Gonzales, Reserve, Boutte and Plaquemine. The medical coding program is taught 100% online. For more information on the medical coding program, call 225-975-0478 or email

mnorris@rpcc.edu.